U. of Illinois Sees Growing Criticism of Its Handling of Salaita Case

The chorus of scholars who have criticized the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign over its decision not to hire Steven G. Salaita grew louder on Friday, when the American Association of University Professors said it was “deeply concerned” about the matter, and another department at the university announced its vote of no confidence in the administration.

Mr. Salaita was offered a tenured professorship in American Indian studies last year, an offer contingent upon approval by the universi…


Exasperated College President to Student Protesters: ‘I Resign. Happy?’

The embattled president of Burlington College, Christine Plunkett, had a surprising response to a group of student protesters who crowded around her car and demanded her resignation on Friday:

“I resign. Happy?”

The students, who had been blocking Ms. Plunkett’s car from leaving a Board of Trustees meeting, were shocked to silence but then cheered as she drove away. A spokeswoman for the college, when asked by the Burlington Free Press if Ms. Plunkett had resigned, said, “No comment.”

Ms. Plunke…


Judge Upholds $3-Million Award in Chicago State U. Whistle-Blower Case

An Illinois judge has denied the appeal of Chicago State University in a whistle-blower case that is set to cost the university $3-million, the Chicago Tribune reports.

In February a jury found that James Crowley, the university’s former senior legal counsel, had been fired for reporting misconduct by the university’s leadership. The jury awarded Mr. Crowley $2.5-million and ordered that he be given his job back. Later, Judge James P. McCarthy of the Circuit Court of Cook County, Ill., increased…


Higher-Ed Lobby Is Concerned About Red Tape in Democrats’ Reauthorization Bill

The American Council on Education and 20 other higher-education interest groups wrote a letter to Sen. Tom Harkin on Friday expressing concerns about additional regulation proposed in Senate Democrats’ draft plan to reauthorize the Higher Education Act.

“We are concerned that the discussion draft includes a substantial number of new requirements, but does not eliminate any existing ones,” wrote Molly Corbett Broad, the council’s president. “This approach will only serve to exacerbate an already …


Student Debt in Mind, Education Dept. Renegotiates Loan Servicers’ Contracts

The U.S. Department of Education on Friday announced it had renegotiated its contracts with federal student-loan servicers, giving them more incentives to keep borrowers from defaulting on their loans.

President Obama announced plans to renegotiate the contracts in June, but Friday’s announcement provides more detail. For example, customer-satisfaction surveys will now play a larger role in how the servicers are evaluated, according to a statement from the department.

Student-loan servicers have…


For-Profit Anthem Education Files for Bankruptcy

Anthem Education, a for-profit education company with dozens of campuses nationwide, filed for bankruptcy on Monday, Inside Higher Ed reports. The company has suddenly shut down several of its campuses and is in the process of selling off others.

The company signaled in July that it was in financial straits. The bankruptcy filing comes as for-profit educators nationally face harsher scrutiny from lawmakers and government regulators.


‘Yes Means Yes’ Bill Clears California Legislature

California lawmakers gave final approval on Thursday to a bill that would require colleges to adopt a “yes means yes” standard for defining sexual consent in investigations of sexual-assault allegations, the Bay Area News Group reported.

If the measure, Senate Bill 967, is signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown, all public and private colleges that receive state student-aid money would have to agree that silence or lack of resistance does not imply a green light for sex, and that drunkenness is not…


George Washington U. Speaks Out on Sex Assaults After Furor Over Ex-Chief’s Remarks

George Washington University on Thursday released a statement calling sexual assault “repugnant and unacceptable” after a former president of the institution, Stephen Joel Trachtenberg, drew sharp criticism over remarks he made about the subject on a radio show.

Mr. Trachtenberg served as the university’s president from 1988 to 2007 and is a professor of public service. He appeared this week on The Diane Rehm Show, a National Public Radio program, as part of a panel that discussed fraternities, …


Campus-Banking Costs Can Add Up, Report Warns

Report: “Campus Banking Products: College Students Face Hurdles to Accessing Clear Information and Accounts That Meet Their Needs”

Publication: Consumer Reports

Summary: Consumer Reports reviewed campus banking products offered by nine financial companies to compare their terms and calculate their costs.

It found that while some products offered simple, low-cost fee structures and convenient access to funds, others charged high or multiple usage fees that could add up to hundreds of dollars for …


What Classroom Distraction Annoys You the Most? Tell Us

We’ve noticed a trend this week in the topic that has gotten readers talking: classroom nuisances. Take our most popular story of the week, a blog post in which Anne Curzan makes the case for banning laptops from the classroom. She argues that laptop use is a distraction—not just for the user but for the class as a whole.

Louise Katz tackled another annoyance in an article published on Monday. In it she describes how she encouraged students to turn off their cellphones during class and how she w…